FirstEnergy Urges Customers to Fill the Air with Love, Not F
AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With Valentine's Day around the corner, FirstEnergy is warning customers about the public safety risks associated with helium-filled foil balloons. While these metallic balloons have increased in popularity as party and celebration decorations, they have also become the cause of many power outages.
"These balloons are attractive and relatively inexpensive decorations, but their metallic coating conducts electricity and poses a risk to our electric system," said Lisa Rouse, director of outage management at FirstEnergy. "Stray balloons that drift into high-voltage equipment often cause power outages and other safety issues that impact our system."
Foil balloons were to blame for nearly 220 power outages across FirstEnergy's six-state service area in 2018 and 2019. Due to the popularity of Valentine's Day balloons, February typically marks the onset of a dramatic increase in outages caused by adrift metallic balloons that peaks in June, when warm weather takes celebrations and picnics outdoors.
To help ensure holidays and celebrations are enjoyed responsibly, customers are encouraged to keep the following balloon safety tips in mind:
"We realize many people are simply unaware of the dangers associated with releasing these foil balloons outdoors, and by educating the public we can help keep our local communities safe while reducing the risk of any electric service disruptions," said Rouse.
For more information on outdoor electrical safety, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/safety.
FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow FirstEnergy and its operating companies on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp, @OhioEdison, @ToledoEdison, @IlluminatingCo, @W_Penn_Power, @Penn_Power, @Penelec, @Met_Ed, @JCP_L, @PotomacEdison, @MonPowerWV.
Editor's Note: A video discussing the hazards posed by foil balloons and tips for safe disposal is available here on FirstEnergy's YouTube channel.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.